Orbital
Distance

(a=AUs)
Orbital
Period

(P=years)
Orbital
Eccentricity

(e)
Orbital
Inclination

(i=degrees)
Mass
Estimate

(Solar)

Diameter

(Solar)

Density

(Earths)
Surface
Gravity

(Earths)

Metallicity
(Solar)
AB-C Mass Center0.0........................
AB Mass Center0.741.860.22583.98...............
Algol A0.0110.00790.0097.693.592.88.........
Algol B0.0510.00790.097.690.793.54.........
Algol C1.951.860.22583.981.671.7.........
Center of Water Zone~14?>270..................


NOTE: This animation attempts to relate the orbits (and possible habitable zones) of Stars A, B, and C in the Algol (Beta Persei) 3 system to their respective centers of mass. The initial display shows the known orbital tilts of the AB and AB-C systems (at an inclination of 97.69 and 83.98) from the visual perspective of an observer on Earth. However, the orbital inclination of any planet that may be discovered someday in this star system would likely be different from those of the water orbit depicted here. [You will need to greatly expand the field of view to see the orbital motion of Stars A and B around each other.]

Algol A is a famous variable star and is the first and title member of Algol-type eclipsing variables. Star A is separated from its close companion "B" on average by only 0.062 AUs (a semi-major axis of 0.00218" at a HIPPARCOS distance estimate of 92.8 ly). Their highly circular orbit (e= 0.00) takes only 2.87 days to complete. From the perspective of an observer on Earth, this orbit is inclined at 97.69 but is adding by 0.1 every century (see: Molnar and Mutel, 1996, Table 2).

A third star "C" orbits the close binary pair (AB). According to the new Sixth Catalog of Visual Orbits of Binary Stars, the binary pair AB and Star C have an average separation of 2.69 AUs (a semi-major axis of 0.0946" at a HIPPARCOS distance estimate of 92.8). Their eccentric orbit (e= 0.225) takes almost 681 days (1.86 years) to complete. The orbit is inclined by 83.98 from Earth's line of sight (Pan et al, 1993). The orbit of Star C actually changes the spectrum of the system every 1.862 years.


 

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